It's certainly coincidental with the John Stewart Rally for Sanity, but could the same thing be happening between drillers and greens over fracking?
The story here from the Houston Post is counter narrative on much of the media reporting. Especially in Europe, where what little reporting there is on shale invariably accentuates the negative. But we can turn fracking into a win-win for greens, the gas industry and the planet too.
Energy companies and environmental groups have more often been adversaries than allies when it comes to hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique used to unlock natural gas from shale rock nationwide.
But a handful of gas producers and environmental advocates are striving to change that dynamic by collaborating on a plan to step up the safety and regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
Both sides hope to gain by working together.
For environmentalists, it's an opportunity to stiffen standards for a technique that is increasingly used nationwide and could help boost domestic supplies of a cleaner burning power source.
For the industry, it's a chance to counter a major PR problem that threatens to undermine support for domestic natural gas production through this method and could drive bans on its use.
What's happening is that Southwestern Energy and the Environmental Defence Fund are hashing out an agreement on shale.
Mark Boling, executive vice president of Southwestern Energy, said he hatched the idea for the collaboration because the current debate is becoming more polarized, with a fearful public not soothed by industry assurances that hydraulic fracturing has been safely used for decades.
"It's not going to help to keep saying we've done it for 60 years and no one's ever proved" there's a problem, Boling said. "The fact is, the public is concerned. They are fearful of what they don't know."
"It is our obligation as an industry to let them know what the issues and obstacles are and show them we are willing to work with environmental groups and state regulators to come up with solutions," Boling added.
The new project is still in the very beginning stages, with the Environmental Defense Fund and Houston-based Southwestern Energy at the core.
But the progress seems to coming along so well that other companies and groups are joining the discsussion.
The broader discussions build on months of negotiations between Boling and Scott Anderson, a senior policy adviser for EDF, over what is now a 40-page draft of possible regulations they hope can be a model for state officials.
The pair expects that a final proposal – which could be ready next year – will deal with a raft of subsurface issues, from the composition of fracking fluids to the integrity of underground wells.
For instance, the plan could propose that companies disclose more information about the chemical cocktails used in fracturing, force regulators to evaluate the geological formations at proposed wells and mandate better pressure monitoring.
In particular, the companies and environmental groups want to develop new standards to ensure the integrity of wells, given explosions and groundwater contamination linked by some to natural gas wells.
Anderson stressed that better well construction would prevent problems.
"As far as the underground aspect goes, hydraulic fracturing should be perfectly safe, if people get all the other stuff right," Anderson said. That means the casing program for the well, the cementing and pressure management all need to be done properly, he added.
Everyones a winner? Just about. Except for those companies who have built a business model on energy shortage, gas shortage, peak oil, CCS, off-shore wind, gas storage etc.
But the big losers won't be just companies, it will be governments who insist on sticking their heads in the sand and promote shortage fears and the price rises that come along as part of the package.
I guess another loser would be Josh Fox of Gasland. But he obviously has never needed the money, so he can safely go and bore audiences, with the occasional flash of brilliance I concede, with avant-garde theatre. Perhaps he'll be a winner after all.